tv Deadline White House MSNBC October 19, 2017 1:00pm-2:00pm PDT
stephanie ruhle. i have not worked with her for a few days. it will be fun to be back with her. find me on facebook, instagram, twitter and snapchat. time for me to say good-bye. "deadline: white house" with nicolle wallace starts right now. >> hi, everyone. it's 4:00 in new york. today general john f. kelly and a gold star father took to the posium in the briefing room for the second time in less than a week to try to end the controversy put into motion by donald trump's criticism of his predecessors, presidents bush and obama, for their treatment of military dads. >> well, thanks a lot. it is a more serious note, so i just wanted to perhaps make more of a statement and give more of an explanation than what amounts to be a traditional press interaction.
most americans don't know what happens when we lose one of our soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines or coast guardsman in combat. let me tell you what happens. their buddies wrap them up in whatever passes as a shroud, puts them on a helicopter as a routine and sends them home. their first stop along the way is when they are packed in ice, typically at the air head and then flown to usually europe where they are then packed in ice again and flown to dover air force base where dover takes care of the remains, embalms them meticulously dresses them in their uniform with the medals that they've earned, the emblems of their service and puts them on another airplane linked up with a casualty officer escort that takes them home. a very, very good movie to watch
if you haven't ever seen it is "taking chance." where this is done in a movie hbo setting. chance phelps was killed under my command right next to me. it's worth seeing that if you've never seen it. so that's the process. while that's happening, a casualty officer typically goes to the home very early in the morning and waits for the first lights to come on, and then he knocks on the door, typically the mom and dad will answer, wife, and if there is a wife, this is happening in two different places. if the parents are divorced, three different places. and the casualty officer proceeds to break the heart of a familiarly member. and stays with that family until -- well, for a long, long time, even after the internment. so that's what happens. who are these young men and women? they are the best 1% this country produces.
most of you, as americans, don't know them. many of you don't know anyone who knows any one of them, but they are the very best this country produces. and they volunteer to protect our country when there's nothing in our country anymore that seems to suggest that self-service to the nation is not only appropriate but required. but that's all right. who writes letters to the families? typically, the company commander, in my case as a marine, company commander, regimen commander, commandant and the president typically writes a letter. typically the only phone calls a family receives are the most important phone calls they can imagine and that is from their buddies. in my case, hours after my son was killed, his friends were calling us from afghanistan telling us whatted a great guy he was. those are the only phone calls
that really matter. and, yeah, the letters count to a degree, but there's not much that really can take the edge off what a family member is going through. so some presidents have elected to call. all presidents, i believe, have elected to send letters. if you elect to call a family like this, it is about the most difficult thing you can imagine. there's no perfect way to make that phone call. when i took this job and talked to president trump about how to do it, my first recommendation was he not do it because it's not the phone call that parents, family members are looking forward to. it's nice to do, in my opinion, in any event. he asked me about previous presidents and i said i can tell you that president obama, who
was my commander in chief when i was on active duty, did not call my family. that was not a criticism. that was just to simply say, i don't believe president obama called. that's not a negative thing. i don't believe president bush called, in all cases. i don't believe any president, particularly when the casualty rates are very, very high that presidents call. but i believe they all write. so when i gave that explanation to our president three days ago, he elected to make phone calls in the case of the four young men who we lost in niger at the earlier part of this month. but then he said how do you make these calls? if you're not in the family, if you have never worn the uniform, if you've never been in combat, you can't even imagine how to make that call. i think he very bravely does make those calls.
the call in question that he made yesterday, or day before yesterday now, were to four family members, the four fallen. and, remember, there's a next of kin, designated by the individual. if he's married, that's typically the spouse. if he's not married, that's typically the parents, unless the parents are divorced, and he selects one of them. if he didn't get along with his parents, he'll select a sibling. the point is the phone call is made to the next of kin only if the next of kin agrees to take the phone call. sometimes they don't. so a precall is made. the president of the united states or the commandant of the marine corps or someone would like to call. would you accept the call. typically, they all accept the call. so he called four people the other day and expressed 4 condoco -- his condolences in the best way he could. he said to me, what do i say?
i said to him, sir, there's nothing you can do to lighten the burden on these families. but let me tell you what i tell him and let me tell you what my best friend joe dunford told me as my casualty officer. he said, kell, he was doing exactly what he wanted to do when he was killed. he knew what he was getting into by joining that 1%. he knew what the possibilities were because we're at war. and when he died, in the four cases we're talking about, niger and my son's case inning if if when he died, he was surrounded by the best men on this earth, his friends. that's what the president tried to say to four families the other day. i was stunned when i came to
work yesterday morning and brokenhearted at what i saw and remember congress doing. a member of congress who listened in on a phone call from the president of the united states to a young wife. and in his way tried to express that opinion. he's a brave man. a fallen hero. he knew what he was getting himself into because he enlisted. and he was where he wanted to be, exactly where he wanted to be with exactly the people he wanted to be with when his life was taken. that was the message. that was the message that was transmitted. it stuns me that a member of congress would have listened in on that conversation. absolutely stuns me. and i thought, at least that was sacred. as a kid growing up, a lot of things are sacred in our country. women were sacred.
looked upon with great honor. that's obviously not the case anymore as we see from recent cases. life, the dignity of life is sacred. that's gone. religion. that seems to be gone as well. gold star families. i think that left in the convention over the summer. but i just thought the selfless devotion that brings a man or woman to die on the battlefield, i just thought that that might be sacred. and when i listened to this woman and what she was saying and what she was doing on tv, the only thing i could do to collect my thoughts was to go and walk among the finest men and women on this earth, and you can always find them because they're in arlington national cemetery. i went over there for an hour and a half. walked among the stones, some of whom i put there because they were doing what i told them to do when they were killed. >> nbc's peter alexander is
inside the briefing room. he's been covering this story all week. peter, you covered president trump. my show was named after him "deadline: white house." general kelly described how an american soldier comes home. their buddies wrap them up. dover embalms them. dresses them meticulously in their uniforms and dresses them with their medals. and then a casualty officer proceeds to break the heart of a family member. he said there's nothing in this country that suggests that selfless service is appropriate but that doesn't matter. he described what happened for his family hours after his son was killed. he said his son's buddies called him. he said that obama did not call his family. he says that it was his belief that bush did not call every family. he said part of the reason was because there's nothing you can say. he described what his family's casualty officer joe dunford,
his best friend told him. he was doing exactly what he wanted to do when he was killed. and then he says i thought at least that was sacred. john kelly has given us a gift by telling us in his own words very reluctantly, i'm sure, what it's like. what, if anything is sacred, it seems like this still must be. >> that was an incredible moment that we just witnessed in the white house briefing room, a matter of minutes ago. what struck me is that while so much of this conversation has been about politics, at the root of this is the lives of four american service members, la david johnson, jeremiah johnson, bryan black, dustin wright. dustin wright whose family has served in the armed forces dating back to 1812. the first in his family to give his life. sacrifice his life for this country. and while so much the focus as a
result of some of the comments made on all sides over the last few days has been about the politics of this and the appropriateness of the way we have this conversation. general john kelly put this in the deepest of terms talking about these men and women who volunteer to serve in this era. and in effect describing them as the best 1% that we have in this country. it's a moment i haven't experienced before. it's a conversation most americans have a conversation of not engaging in, frankly, because many americans don't have that experience. they either don't know a gold star family. they didn't have a loved one who lost their life. and in many cases don't even know someone who has served or currently serves overseas. so this was, i just think, a remarkable and deeply personal moment with political undertones as well, but most importantly, a political -- personal moment for one of the president's top generals in the briefing room just now. >> he's also one of america's
top generals. he gave voice. i reached out to a friend of mine who lost her husband. and he was celebrated and everyone got to know his name, but when i ask her how she's doing, her answer was, i'm the same. nothing about the way that they die that makes the pain go away. and i wonder if you think what happened in that briefing room does anything to -- and i wonder if there's some -- if there's some gift we got this week that we didn't know we were getting in that maybe, maybe what general kelly just described, humanizes something that we ignore all too easily. the men and women who are still fighting. i don't know how many people in the american public knew that service members were dispatched in niger. i'm pretty sure they don't understand the mission. is there something that happened in that room this last hour, is there a silver lining? is there -- does anything change, or does everything go back to normal after john kelly
stepped to the podium and described how american soldier comes home to their families? >> the bottom line is so many americans are calcified in their corn iers and it's going to taka moment like this to break down some of those walls. as one of the families on this network, this cable network yesterday told one of our colleagues, they hadn't received a letter or call from the president and the mom of this slain soldier said i would run. i would walk all the way to washington, d.c., if getting that call or letter would bring my son back. it doesn't. but at the end of the day, this is not about letters or phone calls. it's about men or women fighting for this country which is frankly after what we digest what we heard from john kelly, what will be so important is the investigation to into what happened there. why was there not better intelligence? why did we not know more about this? none of that disputes the fact that wherever men and women serve for america's armed forces around the world, there are
dangers, in spite of the best intelligence. >> i know you have a lot of demands on your time. you've been covering this all week. one, white house has been irate at those of white house were covering the president's comments on monday where he seemed to disparage his predecessors for the way that they handled calls to the family. two, a former president once said the only concern about being surrounded by so many generals is they live by one rule, and that is the chain of command. and in other regard you might view what general kelly did as serving the man at the top of the chain of command. he did the ultimate -- i cannot think of anything else you could do in service to the commander in chief than to take and share the death of your own son in defense of this president. >> that's for sure. this is john kelly, a man who has been deeply reluctant to speak publicly. not to invoke his own son's name in a political context. president trump who a couple days ago did in a radio
interview say in effect as this debate began that you should ask president obama if he spoke or called john kelly at the time. this was unlike anything that i think we've seen in this environment. the end of the day, the white house said this should not have been a conversation about the president's calls or letters. this should have been a conversation about the men who lost their lives. those who criticize the president will say it's the president himself that introduced this topic to the conversation when the question posed to him was simply why haven't you spoken more publicly about what took place in niger. >> that question was posed by you, right, with the realtime fact check. and simply trying to get an answer about something that, frankly, is every american's right to know, whether the president had acknowledged their sacrifice to this country and general kelly made clear how he does it is deeply personal. thank you peter alexander. i want to go around our fantastic panel for an extraordinary newsday.
kimberly atkins, for the boston herald. gene robinson, columnist for "the washington post" and msnbc analyst. former democratic congresswoman deborah edwards. and commentary magazine editor john is also here. gene, i understand that john kelly is a man of unimpeachable credibility. but when he says nothing is sacred, as though the man he works for has nothing to do with the fact that nothing is sacred anymore, that seems to be where the story breaks down. >> that's true. donald trump, i think, inarguably, has reduced the number of things that are sacred in our society. you could not help but be profoundly moved by listening to general kelly's remarks today, i think. at the same time, you know, while i don't think anyone believes that when president
trump made the phone call to maesha johnson that he intended to deepen her grief. that was the effect, and that is why congresswoman fredricka wilson, who happened to be there when the phone call was on speaker, spoke out so quickly and so sort of vehemently, almost in shock. so whatever the intent was, and let's assume the intent was absolutely righteous. the intent was the right thing. for some reason that message did not come across in the way it was intended, speaking with a friend of mine who is a gold star person. she lost her closest loved one in iraq. and your former boss, george w. bush, sent a letter. and in retrospect, the letter was fine and appropriate and this and that. but at the moment there was a little phrase in the letter that just hit the wrong way. so maybe there is nothing you
can say that's absolutely right. >> but kelly said that he told the president that he shouldn't make the calls because this is not the call that families want to get and because it's an incredibly difficult situation, and we all know whether or not we know gold star families or not, if someone guys an untimely death and you go to visit afterwards. if you are jewish, or something like that, there are ritualistic things you say precisely because there's nothing that you can say, right? so that, again in judaism you say this phrase, may you be comforted among the mourners of zion and jerusalem. that's handed to everyone as a gift because there is nothing that you can say. and kelly, i think, was defending the president on the grounds that the president said, i think i'm going to make these calls. what do i say? kelly told him what to say. he tried to repurpose it and in his own words and it appears
stumbled. even if he had said it perfectly, it may have been the wrong thing. >> i grew up in a military family, and i can recall seeing thousands and thousands of caskets on one of the installations that i lived on as a child. and i know gold star families. and when i listen to general kelly, i can hear his pain and his defense. and i think that this is a conversation right now that needs to stop. and it has to stop by the president of the united states. because i do think that whether you intend to or not, it can exacerbate the pain. it can bring up the pain of losing a child. >> do you think the president understands that he perhaps brought new pain to his chief of staff by invoking him earlier in the week? publicly? >> i don't know, but i guess if the president were sitting
across from me right now, i would say make yourself understand that and just stop. >> kim, you cover him. he is, in his own mind, a victim of crises that he creates. we are talking about this. we are leading the show for the fourth day in a row because he said it on monday. he made it worse on tuesday. they have the effects of hurting the feelings of a widow on wednesday. and his chief of staff maybe offered to go, but his chief of staff went to the briefing room and described the way a soldier's body returns to america in an effort to stop this story. >> yes, and it was, in part, in defense of the way that he gave this phone call. and i think gene is right. the intention of the president and the explanation by the chief of staff can be true, as can the feelings of this gold star family and congresswoman wilson because it is the most raw,
emotionally raw situation one can go in. then general kelly also had to explain other things that the president said, such as the fact that president obama did not call him when his son died. he did not see that as a criticism. he was just explaining what happened in his circumstance. and he didn't defend the president's decision to start comparing the way he reached out to gold star families to other presidents, which is what started this whole thing. this didn't have to revolve around these gold star families. this whole discussion could have revolved around what happened in niger. >> this is not about the president and his feelings. it's about these families. >> yes. >> and i -- >> but is it ever -- >> it started to be about the president's feelings because the question that was asked him on monday was, why didn't you call them? why haven't you tweeted about -- >> the question is why didn't you react to this incident? >> then he got defensive. he said, you got to make these
calls. they're very difficult. these calls are really hard. and then he said -- i'm not defending him. >> to then throw to someone else instead of just owning it as president of the united states and not taking to twitter and to accusations. >> that was later. at the press conference he said, look, president obama didn't make the calls. i think. i've been told that. he didn't call people and president bush may not have called people. it was as though he needed to explain himself. it was a rare, i think, moment, unconscious moment of guilt he had mishandled this and in his way he then threw it on his predecessors. >> but this was not, gene, the first gold star family that came under attack by donald trump. that's why the questions all week were legitimate ones and ones that people who cover this president were trying to understand. we asked on tuesday, is anything sacred? >> right, and apparently not.
look, i -- donna, you are right. this should be about the families and these four families, and it should be about what happened in niger. it always ends up being about donald trump, in donald trump's mind and what he did right and the defense of what he did right or wrong. can't be wrong. and that's the, you know, a recurring pattern that we've seen like every single time on every single issue. so we shouldn't be surprised that that's the case here. but this is just, you know, that description that general kelly gave haunts me. it is so vivid. and so stark. it is clear that he lives with that image all the time. >> it's not the only thing. what we departmeidn't play was t thing he said before he left the stage. i have another son serving now. why is he serving?
why are these men serving? you cannot know the wonderful quality of being a person who serves his country and we feel bad for the people who do not. and so it wasn't simply mournful. it was also celebratory. >> you hear that when we get glimpses of secretary mattis' comments when he travels around the world visiting american servicemen and women. it certainly answers the question, why are they there. still ahead, the impassioned speech of a former president taking on the current one without mentioning his name.
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this morning my old boss george w. bush spoke out forcefully against casualty cruelty, bigotry, conspiracy theories and outright fabrication. take a look. >> we've seen our discourse degraded by casual cruelty. at times it can seem like the forces pulling us apart are stronger than the forces binding us together. argument turns too easily into animosity. disagreement escalates into dehumanization. bigotry seems emboldened. our politics seems more vulnerable to conspiracy theories and outright fabrication. we've seen nationalism distorted into nativism. forgotten the di naimism that immigration has always praut to america. we see a fading confidence in the value of free markets and international trade, forgetting that conflict, instability and
poverty follow in the wake of protectionism. we've seen the return of isolationist sentiments, forgetting that american security is directly threatened by the chaos and despair of distant places where threats such as terrorism, infectuous disease, criminal gangs and drug trafficking emerge. we become the kings of martin luther king jr. by recognizing one another not by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. this means that people of every race, religion, ethsis is ethne fully and equally american. bigotry or white supremacy is blasphemy against the american creed. [ applause ] and it means the very identity of our nation depends on the
passing of civic ideals to the next generation. >> president bush's spokesman says that donald trump was not the intended target, but a source close to the president acknowledged he was aware how his remarks would be received in the current political climate and confirmed that the president drafted the speech himself with the assistance of a couple of close aides. president obama is speaking right now at a campaign event in newark, new jersey. his first campaign event. we're listening to that. if he makes news, we'll take you right to it. seeing these two former presidents offers a bookend to how the week started. how they handled expressions of sympathy to loved ones serving in our military. our military is back with us. from d.c., "washington post" national political reporter and moderator of washington week, robert costa joins us as well. robert, i want to ask you, the president's spokesman quickly put out this was not targeted at
trump, but it's abundantly clear that it's targeted at trumpism. he takes on bigotry. he takes on isolationism. you can see that as the wall. he takes on conspiracy theories and outright fabrication. you can see that as the media outlets aligned with this president. he takes on casual cruelty. many tell me he was especially bothered by sort of the coarseness of the character displays we see from this president when he physically mocked a disabled journalist or the kinds of things he said on the "access hollywood" tape. how does donald trump -- how long do you think the president will be able to go before he lashes back, and do you think he will lash back at the 43rd president? >> in some ways, nicolle, what we're seeing from senator mccain and president george w. bush is a response not only to president trump but to all of this unrest, this rise of nationalism on the american right. and they are trying, as the
establishment of the party, the longtime leaders of the party to make a statement as this republican civil war continues at the direction of the country cannot be controlled or dictated by these forces, in part president trump but also breitbart news and so many other allies on that wing of the party. >> they are losing the battle, though, right? voices like george w. bush's, john mccain's, bob corker's. they're being drowned out and losing in primary contests. the exact forces they are sounding the alarm bells about. >> important news this week with congressman t. berry, senior member of the house from ohio. mainstream republicans saying no thanks, i'm leaving like senator corker decided. so many republicans i talked to on capitol hill. it's not that they want to have a confrontation with president trump. but they just cannot stomach
this gop storm anymore. instead of being in the fight to try to shape the future they're saying, we don't really understand our own party anymore. maybe it's time to do something else or retire. >> john, what happens to the old republican party. not all of us can work at msnbc. >> well, this is the battle -- the interesting question is, is this a battle for the future or is the battle over? we're hearing mccain nominee in 2008, hearing bush, president from 2001 to 2009 voice -- >> romney from '12 with the loud anti-trump voice. >> what we'd cover to be mainstream republican internationalist views tempered by 40 years of trying to make sense of the right way to talk about issues that are not classically republican, like race, like, you know, common standards of -- like martin luther king.
all of that. so they came up with a voice and trump shattered it entirely. what we don't know if that's only him, that's exclusive to him because he had the means of shattering it, or whether the entire 35-year tradition that began, 37-year tradition that began with reagan's run is now dead. and that is the question from now until 2020. we don't know the answer yet. the simple fact of the matter is trump, you know, is liked by the republican base but we don't know how much of what they like is the negativism and how much they like that he takes it to liberals and he's like cutting regulations. do they want american -- do they want the notion that america is a unique -- has a creed and is a unique nation that preaches democracy and freedom to the world to go away? they might. if they do, then what bush has done here is a kind of eulogy.
>> an obituary. >> so the part that really gripped my stomach was bigotry seems emboldened. racists are emboldened. racism in america. they used to gather at night. now they gather in the day and show their faces in charlottesville and florida. bush is jumping up and down at the much to his lungs because this to me, who would want to be part of a political party in which bigotry is emboldened. >> i hope not many people but, you know, who says donald trump doesn't bring people together, right? when george w. bush -- >> i was dying to ask you about the speech today. >> when george w. bush was president, i didn't write a lot of nice things about him. >> i remember. >> but i wrote some. a wonderful thing to do. but in general, i was pretty critical. i would love to give him a hug right now because what he did
was enunciate a set of american values that didn't sound particularly republican or democratic, but that sounded right. >> how about an indictment of the climate. we've seenor discourse degraded by casual cruelty. it seems like the forces pulling us apart are stronger than the ones binding us together. we've been dehumanized. bigotry has been emboldened. these are the toughest words i've heard. they mirror his private concerns in the last years of his own presidency. >> it's extraordinary, too, because this is george w. bush. this is someone who after he left office, he went to texas. he said he was not going to be a part of the daily discourse. >> he doesn't want to be. >> one president at a time. and so for him to come out and not only make these statements but make these specific kind of statements it shows just how concerned he is about all of this, and how difficult it is for a lot of republicans to deal
in this situation. not just the former president, but members of congress who are either trying to push back against the president, like john mccain or bob corker, or those who are trying to stay quiet and not feel the wrath of the president's twitter account by trying to appeal to their constituents. they are twisting themselves in knots because of the state of it and the former president felt like he had a platform to address some of it. >> robert costa, were you trying to get in? >> this brings we back to inauguration day. after president trump gave his address, president bush walked up right past me. i said, president bush, what do you make of that speech? american carnage. and he paused for just a second and looked at me with a cool stare and said good to see you. it was so telling. >> donna, you've been traveling around the country. >> i have. >> i'm curious. what are you hearing? >> i've been traveling around the country.
visited 40 states now and i'm hearing the base is still there and very supportive. but they're also saying things like, hey, i think it's the republicans in congress who are keeping president trump from realizing all those campaign promises. when i hear george w. bush, and i, too, have joined the george w. bush -- hugging george w. bush t-shirt. >> i'll send over t-shirts this afternoon. you can all wear them next time. >> i think even if it isn't quite being heard in that way, that it's actually really important for his voice to be out there because otherwise people who need some place to go, have no place to go. >> here's obama a few moments ago talking about a similar topic. the division in our politics. let's watch. >> some of the politics we see now, we thought we put that to bed. i mean, that's folks looking 50
years back. it's the 21st century. not the 19th century. >> well, first off, you have to acknowledge that being -- not being -- being a former president is like being benjamin button. they all look younger the farther they get away from the presidency. obama looked great. why is it so much easier for presidents obama and bush to sort of speak truth to that angry base, speak truth to power, understand they're not facing election but it would seem to me unpatriotic not to say what presidents obama and bush did today which is again, bigotry is emboldened, our politics are vulnerable to conspiracy theorys. why isn't the duty of everybody, democrat and republican, to speak out against these forces. they're undeniably ripping us apart. >> it's taken some time. here we are, basically 10, almost 11 months into this. and i think a lot of people thought, well, surely after
month three or month seven and now at month ten, and i think for president bush to come out now and speak tells me what all the rest of us should know is that this president isn't going to change. so we can't go for the next three years without saying anything. >> he is a revolutionary destabilizing president. and so the people, particularly somebody like president bush, who believes in democratic norms and stability is clearly looking at this with great alarm. so there's no, you know, there's no profit in it for him to stay out. because his -- not only is his legacy being shredded by the republican party of today, but what he expects of the country is now under great threat. >> all right. thank you so much for depressing me. >> sorry. >> thank you for joining us. still ahead -- donald trump rages against the machine, taking to twitter in the early
morning hours to assail anyone, including his own fbi over the contents of an explosive report that has had him hopping mad. we'll bring you the latest developments. and one of the candidates the democratic party is counting on to swing power back in their direction is going to join us. a military and intelligence expert and she'll weigh in on the big headlines of the day. stay with us. for your heart... your joints... or your digestion... so why wouldn't you take something
♪ stare with me into the abyss ( ♪ ) uranium is a big subject. if the mainstream media would cover the uranium scandal and that russia has 20% of their uranium, for whatever reason and a lot of people understand what those reasons may be. i think that's your russia story. that's your real russia story. not a story where they talk about collusion, and there was none. it was a hoax. your real russia story is
uranium. and how they got all of that uranium. a vast percentage of what we have. that is, to me, one of the big stories of the decade, not just now. of the decade. the problem is that the mainstream media does not want to cover that story. >> but i'm willing to bet 1700 pictures of margaritas that statement was unprompted. it came out of nowhere as a q&a session with rters and the governor of puerto rico was wrapping up. notably, president trump gave himself a ten on the scale from 1 to 10 for his response to the hurricane that devastated puerto rico. but donald trump apparently wants more air time for the argument he tweeted about this morning. quote, uranium deal to russia with clinton help and obama administration knowledge is the biggest story that fake media doesn't want to follow. he then added workers of firm involved with the discredited and fake dossier take the fifth. who paid for it? russia?
the fbi? or the dems? or all? there's so much to unpack there. so much that we need nbc's ken dilanian and former federal prosecutor to help us. ken, uranium, tell us what this story is and what the questions are and why donald trump cares so much. >> in fairness, it is not a great story for the country or for hillary clinton, but it's a story brought to you by the mainstream media. first exposed on the front page of "the new york times" in 2015. it's about a transaction where a canadian company was selling uranium company to russian interests. it was going to control 20% of the u.s. uranium production. it required u.s. government approval, including the state department, then led by hillary clinton. while it was going on, some of these canadians contributed to the clinton foundation. bill clinton went and gave a speech. that's not a great appearance.
but there's no evidence that hillary clinton played any role in this decision, which ultimately went through the u.s. government approved it. this week there was some new reporting that suggests the fbi at the time was investigating whether russia was trying to infiltrate the u.s. nuclear industry through corruption. so that sort of makes it look even worse in retrospect. trump has a point but there's no evidence of wrongdoing by clinton and not that much to cover. it's been covered. >> and been covered by the mainstream media on this network at 4:48. fox, i dare you to run that clip tonight in prime. let me get to you on the other tweet on the topic on russia. he also tweeted he's obsessed with the dossier. we have to always re-explain that this was a document that i think law enforcement, it's fair to say, used it as a tip sheet. they said this was unsubstantiated. however it was never and to this moment is not discredited. is that right? >> i think that's absolutely right. what we've seen in the
mainstream media, to use the term from a minute ago, is a lot rchts and also from intelligence sources that some portions of that dossier have been confirmed. now, obviously, an intelligence gathering document is not the same thing as what bob mueller would be able to use at trial. he can't just throw this dossier in front of the jury, but he would need to find evidence that he could authenticate. documents authenticated. he could have witnesses who have personal knowledge testify on the stand. what i expect, like you've just suggested, that he use it to create as a basis for leads that he would use it as a way to know who to talk to, what documents to look for and ultimately those documents and those witnesses would be the evidence in the case. >> ken, it was explained by a former british military -- very high level individual who said that even in the british government, this product would have been run through checks and balances. it would have -- it was human intelligence.
whether he was in the government or not, the product would have been verified. and that when jim comey first flew up to new york to meet with then president-elect trump, he mentioned it in that context. this thing is out there. it's out there, unsubstantiate, didn't want you to be blindsided by it. this is donald trump's kryptonite. the thing in this document are in some instances is a salacious but a lot that offers proof about financial tie s between donald trump and russia. is that not the case? t. is. raw intelligence. if the cia had this information they'd want to know the sources, whether or not they were reliable and we don't have that information and presumably the fbi is trying to get that information. we no some aspects -- dossier talks about trump's denials of business dealings in moscow and was, in fact, trying to purchase see real estate deals in the russian capital. what did we learn a couple
months ago during the primaries, the trump organization was trying to pursue a deal to pursue trump tower moscow and soliciting help for the project. the dossier said something that later proved to be true. >> let me ask you about the investigation closing in on donald trump's inner circle, with news that cory lewendowski, but never quit donald trump as an adviser and wing man. can you talk about the things people would want to know from someone like cory lewendowski? >> sure. anyone like cory lewendowski had direct exposure to the president of the united states, he is somebody that literally would speak and chat with the president about numerous topics. may have had texts or e-mails with the president, and certainly has a sense of what the president thought at certain times what he said. what his views were. i expect that mueller in that
interview is trying to get a download of what cory knew about what the president knew at various times, and in addition, i think he also probably tried to get a sense of what the president -- how the president made other decisions on other subjects analogous, for example, to the firing of james comey to see whether that decision was made differently than other decisions, or whether or not, for example, interactions with paul manafort or others that -- that mueller is looking at were treated differently than interactions with others in the campaign. >> ken renaldo, my own personal, 4:00 p.m. own donald trump fact checker, thank you for your service. we'll be back after the break. don't go anywhere. wellness that you may be... ...overlooking. ♪ it's your eyes. that's why there's ocuvite, from bausch + lomb. as you age your eyes can lose vital nutrients. ocuvite helps replenish those nutrients.
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joinings now is a former cia analyst, worked on both the bush and obama administrations and is now running for congress as a sdem democrat in michigan. thanks for joining us. >> thanks for having me. >> i wonder if you can weigh in on the biggest story of the week. the tragic deaths of four service members in niger and add to what kind of mission they may have been involved in there, what kinds of missions the military is involved in in places like that? >> obviously, it was a tragic story. i agree with a lot of commentators on earlier. i'm an army wife and these issues should never be politicized and we should stop talking about it and let the families grieve. in terms of what's going on in
south africa, we have a scene over the years since 9/11, the spread of al qaeda affiliated groups. now it seems like isis affiliated groups, actively trying to attack our interests, attack our allies, attack our forces, andbassies so we made the decision years ago now to work with and by local forces on the ground. forces in niger and other parts of west africa to try to help them confront the threat before it gets too big and too big for them to handle, before it starts exporting to europe and other parts, they were part of that mission that went trchagically wrong. i'm happy to hear a group was sent to investigate. the missions they're working on trying to preserve and ensure american safety both there in west africa, our allies and here
back home. >> you are so experienced. you seem so -- decent and honorable. why do you want to get involved in politics right now? >> it's a sad statement, actually. a very sad statement that you would even -- >> honest question. if you're running you need an answer. let's hear it. >> yeah. i've been in public service and national service for 14 years. i was with the cia, was at the defense department, did three tours as a cia officer alongside the military in iraq and i just looked around at congress over the past year and the tenure of the conversation, it just seemed like people had forgotten, congressmen had forgotten that they are public servants first. their first and only job is to make the lives of their constituents better, and just seemed like a heck of a lot of people seemed to have forgotten that. that really hit me the wrong way. so i decided to throw my hat in the ring and try to do something about it. i'm not willing to give up on our congress and on politics.
we're better than that. and so i got in. >> you've got people at the table cheers. i will not reveal their party affiliation. it might surprise you. weigh in on partnerships and whether your strategy win over republicans and democrats with what you just said? >> i consider myself a very independent person. you serve, do national service, i tell everybody i did four tours in iraq and no one ever asked me what party i was from. no one bothered to ask because you were focused on the mission. protecting u.s. forces. helping to protect the u.s. homeland, and i think we need a little of that spirit back in washington. and i think that my experience as i worked for republicans, i worked for democrats, proudly, and so to me this isn't about partisanship. it's about reclaiming civility and decency in government. focusing on solving problems as opposed to just bickering and
in-fighting and gridlock, which is obviously what we see right now. >> i wish you the best of luck and hope you come back often. keep us posted. >> thank you. appreciate it. >> kimberly atkins, and all the others on the panel, thanks for being here on a difficult day for all of us. i'm nicolle wallace. "mtp daily" starts right now. >> hi, nichole. melissas last comment, a nice one to end on. a little hopeful and glass half full. skeptical but got to hope. if it's thursday, is the president's trust deficit costing him? tonight -- will the senate's short-term health care fix short-circuit without clear support from the president. >> they'll be a transition period. so anything they're working on will be short term. >> we'll talk to two republican senators. one for the bill and one against. plus -- chief of staff john kelly tries to shut down the controversy surrounding the es